Sow the Seeds of Organic Marketing and Watch Your Practice Grow
Five tips to build patient trust and loyalty
By Andrew Lotsis
Physical therapy practices that focus on building the trust of their patients establish loyalties within the communities they serve. To take your business to the next level, however, it takes more than just providing excellent care. To attract, and keep, clients and patients, building a strong brand identity is essential.
Here are some organic marketing concepts that the pros are using to excel in their communities and outpace their competitors.
1. RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING
For businesses that focus on patient care, establishing trust and credibility must precede any other marketing tactic. Clients who experience successful clinical outcomes and positive customer interactions are not only more likely to return, they are more likely to recommend your practice to others. Work to establish an environment where clients feel cared for, safe, and under the supervision of experienced professionals.
Maintain these client relationships by asking for feedback and engaging patients in conversations that better your business. No matter how strong your additional marketing tactics may be, there is no substitute for patient relationships to drive referrals, retention, and loyalty.
Focus your attention on meeting client needs and exceeding client expectations. Once you’ve built a loyal base, establish a referral system that rewards current patients who help you bring in new business. Your most important asset in gaining new customers are your current customers. The cost of a hand-written note to thank each new patient for choosing your practice and to those referring your practice to another is a stamp. It is simple and goes a long way.
Extend relationships beyond your current customer base by creating meaningful, strategic partnerships in your community to drive customers from existing audiences. If your practice can provide value to community members and partners such as sports teams, schools, camps and parent groups, you will be able to fuel future marketing efforts. Cultivate these relationships to become the provider-of-choice when their need for physical therapy sprouts.
Create an educational lecture series that is interactive and centered around “dynamic warm-ups.” All local teams, from recreation to travel, will welcome you to come for a 30-minute demonstration. Video these session and work to make them go viral. Ask permission to post the link to your new YouTube channel and have the sports team post the link on their website with your contact information.
2. SHOW OFF YOUR TEAM
Establish your team as the experts of physical therapy care in your community and you will become the go-to practice when you’re needed most.
Make it clear to potential clients that your practice employs knowledgeable, well-respected experts. Build staff profiles that not only focus on clinical competence and credentials, but also highlight community involvement, interests, and other personal information. When clients associate certain individuals with positive care experiences, your business, as a whole, gains. Recognize your employees who go the extra mile to make those positive care experiences a reality. Give them lecture opportunities and let them grow as well.
3. PROGRAMMING AND MARKETING CALENDARS
Create accessible content programming like seminars, webinars, educational opportunities, and training videos for relevant audiences. By establishing your business as a known expert in physical therapy care and injury-prevention education, community members will turn to you when they need you.
Partnerships are most successful when the community knows about them. Build a content calendar that promotes partnerships and content experiences through social media, email lists, in-office marketing materials, and local mailings.
4. MAXIMIZE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
A robust, optimized website that is easy to navigate and details your services in digestible ways is essential for driving new business. Create an option for patients to make and modify appointments at any time on your website. Offer options for contacting your practice beyond a phone call.
Do you pop up in search results? To maximize your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), write blog articles and creative content to boost your search results. Leverage reviews and share patient testimonials that drive new customers to trust your practice before they are your patients. Are you marketing your patient success stories?
5. BUILD YOUR IMAGE
Once you’ve established relationships and yourself as an expert source in your community, your business needs to build its brand to stand out from competition.
What can you offer that other practices do not? How can you use consistent brand identity, such as logos, colors, and imagery, to enhance the professionalism of the patient experience at your practice? How can you highlight that your physical therapy team members provide a personal touch to health care service? Make your business feel personal, accessible, and trustworthy by creating an environment marked by engaging, experienced staff within a business that is organized, reliable, and legitimate.
1Dodds D. “Seed Keywords: Sowing the Seeds for Your Website’s SEO Success” Forbes. Published September 25, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/09/25/seed-keywords-sowing-the-seeds-for-your-websites-seo-success/?sh=1c448758383c
Andrew Lotsis is the CEO of Activepro Rehab Partners, a leading physical and occupational rehabilitation care development firm comprised of 54 practices in New Jersey and Maryland. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org